Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bali! Kuta & Uluwatu- Sessions 70-71

Kuta beach with teh gang, rented some logs and played in the shorebreak. South end of the beach under construction, so not typical Bali beauty, but fun waves nonetheless. Most of the waves outside would jack up and close out, but it was fun pulling in and punching through the back.

The next day was my first time at Uluwatu. Lots of fun, a little scary, but overall similar to Steamer Lane in a way....shooting back into the cave was the trickiest part. Check the slideshow for shots of me paddling through the cave, catching some rides. Stoked that it was manageable and not triple overhead!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Session 69 - Kirkham Crew

This AM we had the whole crew out- me, Ryan, Gillian, Karl, Nic & Brian. Waves were small, but rideable and entertaining enough. Took a bunch of photos, a few good ones of Gillian, Karl, and Nic. It was a perfect last session in SF before heading out to Bali today. I'm at the airport right now, and so far the trip is going well. They didn't charge me for my board bag, and are sending it straight to Bali, rather than making me schlep it around Hong Kong for a night. I arrive in Bali on Friday around 3:30 in the afternoon. Hope I'll have time to check into the hotel and sneak in a sunset session before dinner. The waves right now are slightly overhead, but this weekend a big groundswell is rolling in and it's supposed to jack up again to triple overhead plus. If all goes well I'll get shacked out of my mind without any visits to the emergency room...I have reef booties and a neoprene shirt as my only defense right now. Gilbo was suggesting a helmet, but we'll see, hopefully I won't need one in the deeper water breaks and surfing the higher tides. OK, boarding soon, my next update will hopefully include pristine water shots from the island of the Gods!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Session 68

Another fine day at OB. Took Gus for a walk to check the surf at Judah at 6:20. Looking decent, glassy, slightly bigger than yesterday. Went home, suited up and headed to K street. Not much time to surf, 9 am meetings eating my soul, but glad I was on it early. One other guy out, this dude Tosh, nice guy, we chatted for a bit and shared a peak. The waves were mostly slow, workable walls, making it really easy to link together cutbacks and long carves. My best wave was a late takeoff that walled up, and then had a second drop, so I was able to really build speed down the line and bash the lip when it finally closed out. Too bad I couldn't stay out longer, it seemed to be improving with the outgoing tide. Only a couple more neoprene-clad sessions before Bali! And it looks like it's going to be pumping, the triple overhead swell is now dropping to slightly overhead, but then by this weekend another big swell is moving in. I think I'm going to bring 2 boards now, my 6'5" JC squash tail and my 7'5" semi-gun. Wouldn't want to be undergunned on the surf trip of a lifetime...If I wimp out I'd rather only have myself to blame, not my equipment!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Session 67

K street dawn patrol was beautiful today, I was expecting more wind and chop like yesterday, but it was sunny and glassy and just all around pleasant. The waves were waist to shoulder high and mostly weak, but on occasion a workable wave would roll through. It looked to be picking up, as I drove down great highway on my way to work there were a bunch of guys out near Noriega. Hoping for more of the same tomorrow, a little more size wouldn't hurt ;)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Session 66

Paddled out around 8:45 am with Ryan V into some pretty clean head high surf. Planned on meeting up with Ramin too, but we drifted pretty far north so by the time he hit the water we were probably somewhere around Lincoln...It was a good session though, some occasional outside sets were a few feet overhead, but elusive. Both of us caught a lot of fun waves, one wave I did a really nice cutback right in the pocket, threw some pretty good spray out the back. The most memorable wave of the day by far though was one where I went for a late drop only to find Ryan sitting right in front of me at the bottom of the wave. At the last second I dove headfirst off my board, and Ryan went under and ditched his board. The wave mowed both of us down, and when we surfaced Ryan and I were right on top of each other, with our boards and leashes all crossed up. Nobody got hurt and no boards dinged, and we were hysterical laughing about it.

Session 65

Friday evening session, swell really picked up some size, and sets were overhead plus. Tide super low, you could see all the sand getting sucked up as the waves crashed. My first wave was a solid overhead right, and I took off kindof late. Got hung up on the top of the wave and didn't make the air drop. Got slammed right on my ass in the sand, the water was only a couple of feet deep. Ouch. Caught a few more to redeem myself, but I was freezing, as I was stupidly wearing a size 12 women's wetsuit, and I fortunately don't actually have the physique of a size 12 woman...I promised myself I'd never wear that thing again. If you know any size 12 chicks looking for suits, let me know!

Session 64

Evening session with Nic, Ramin, and Bryan. A lot choppier since the morning, but still some fun ones. Nic caught a little barrel, and my best wave was a left that I pigdogged into late and kicked out of right on top of Nic. After surfing Joan and Gus were on the beach and we all headed over to the Pizza Place on Noriega for some beers, wings, and pizza. Healthy end to a fun session.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Session 63

Chilly SF summer dawn patrol at OB, report says fair, but poor more often than fair. A few fun shoulder high waves for the taking though. Had the camera on 'take a photo every 5 seconds' mode, which means I had a ton of really bad photos to delete now. A few nice shots though, the function will come in handy in better conditions.

Sessions 61 & 62

Paddled out last night with Joanie, Gilbo & Cory for the sunset session. Tide was low and it was a bit crossed up, but caught some decent rides. It's fun to have a crew on it. After it got dark we headed over to Noriega for some burritos at La Playa and a pint at Sea Biscuit. Not a bad way to end a Tuesday...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sessions 59 & 60

Sunday OB, small but fun surf. Slept in today, made some eggs. House is a mess. Dog toys everywhere, Lady takes them all out. Ry came over, and we took Gus for a walk down to the surf shop. Checked out some long sleeve wetsuit shirts, perfect for bouncing off of shallow reefs, but way too $$. Went with Mark over to beach burrito for some grub, even though I just had eggs. Paddled out after that, first time with the Doc' Pro Plugs. The left one came out twice, good thing I left the leash thing in. Caught some fun ones, but I should've listened to Mark and brought the log. Went in after about an hour and a half. Joan still getting her haircut.

Sat around and procrastinated more, then Gilbo called and wanted to paddle out at 6:30. I was hungry and knew Joanie wanted to eat too, but I caved and agreed to go again. Can't get enough. Gilbo is getting good, she caught maybe 5 waves, popping up and making the drop on all of them, starting to learn how to turn and go down the line. I'll have to take her to Santa Cruz one of these days so she can get some longer rides to experiment with turns. Proud of her though.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Session 57 & 58

Thursday evening & Friday AM. Swell has dropped significantly, and although it's still rideable, I'm yearning for the speed and power of last week's swell. This morning there were a lot of dungeness crabs scurrying around, I stepped on one by mistake. Also a family of seals, a few huge ones too.

As for waves, I caught one memorable left this Am, other than that most waves were fairly weak. These 2 sessions I was the only one on the beach, so I took it as an opportunity to try to teach myself layback snaps. However, I think it's really hard to perform a layback in terribly weak surf with barely any speed. I'm gonna keep working at it though, what's the point of surfing every day if I'm not learning anything new, right?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Session 56 - OB

3-5 and fair this AM. Some steep, powerful set waves, though usually closing out. A few waves that would've had nice backdoor sections if the wind was a little more offshore. Wiped out hard once, need to get that out of my system before surfing shallow reef breaks in Indo. Saw 1 dolphin and 1 seal. Couldn't stay out too long, duty calls.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Session 55 - Montara dawn patrol

This AM Ramin scooped me at 5:45 with intentions to catch the south swell down at Princeton Jetty in Half Moon Bay. Unfortunately the tide was a bit high and it didn't look to be working very well at the jetty, so we headed back up north a few miles to Montara. Nobody was on it yet, but it looked decent, fairly smooth and some solid shoulder high waves. We each caught plenty of waves, and Ramin took off pretty deep on a few and made them all, with the exception of one wave that I shouted him into. A few real fast fun rides, but the highlight of my session was my last ride into the beach where I literally rode into dry sand, bailing at the last minute and landing on my back. I was completely flushed with sand, and still have a ton of sand in my hair right was worth it though. Fun session, definitely will be back to Montara sometime soon.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sessions 53 -54 - Scuba & Surfing Monterey

From Scuba Cert & Surfing 9/8/08 8:21 AM

This weekend we did our open water scuba certification in Monterey Bay. We camped out Friday night at Fremont Peak, which has really beautiful views of the bay, although it's a little remote and run down. We dove by the breakwater in Monterey, just north of Cannery Row. There was a lot of wildlife, dolphins jumping and playing, sea lions, seals, fish, starfish, and lots of kelp. We dove as deep as 33 feet and got to navigate with a compass through the kelp forest. Visibility was only maybe 10 feet, and my underwater camera didn't pick up much unless it was really close-up. Hopefully I'll get better scuba pics in Bali.

After diving on Saturday we drove to Asilomar beach in Monterey. The waves were 2-4 and it was crowded, but nice. The beach there is pretty, white sand and clear water. There was a wedding going on while we were surfing too.

Next day we dove in the AM, and finished up before noon. We headed to the bar to fill out our dive logs and receive our temporary certification cards. After that, we headed up the coast in search of waves. Stopped at Steamers, but the tide was high and not much to work with. Checked a few more spots, ending up at Waddell Beach. The wind was on it a bit, but there were a few solid head high sets rolling through and it was fun. I was riding my 5'10" Rusty, which took some getting used to after surfing so consistently on my 6'5". Eventually the wind picked up, and the conditions became more favorable for the kit surfers. Headed home to hop in the shower before the charity dinner at Prestino's, which was delicious. Crab ravioli, steak, homemade bread....that boy is talented in the kitchen.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sessions 51 & 52 - dare I say epic OB?

From OB sessions 9/5/8

Indian summer is upon us, and the last few days at OB have been beautiful. Thursday night I paddled out with Ramin, Gillian and Jon. Sets were head high and the waves were really clean and fun. I couldnt stop giggling...Ramin and I caught a ton of waves, and stayed in the water well after sunset. It set around 7:30, and we stayed out until about 8:20. Ramin caught a little barrel after dark too, although it mustve been hard to see in there...This was definitely one of my best OB sessions since maybe January or February, although this time I didnt even need to wear booties, let alone gloves.

The surf was so good that I was amped to hit it again at 6am. Ended up meeting Karl and Mark at Irving and hit the water by 6:30. Low tide wasn't very low, and it was a little washed out, but still pretty clean and an awesome day, especially by OB standards. Caught a few nice ones, got covered up a little on my first wave. Mark and Karl caught a lot of waves, I got a few shots of them. After a while I paddled in to meet up with Ryan and his friend Julie on the beach. Paddled back out and surfed my brains out, got out of the water at 8:30, realizing that everyone else had already left. Still managed to get to work by 10 too. Tonight on the way down to Monterey I'm looking forward to scoring some waves at the Hook, I hear it's pretty good and low tide isn't until like 9:30.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Session 50 - way ahead of schedule

I guess I need to raise the bar, this AM was my 50th surf session, and I still have ~3 weeks until leaving for indo. So now I'm shooting for 75, although it will be tough logistically with scuba cert weekends and weddings, etc. I'll just need to have more multi-session days to keep on track.

This morning was beautiful again, the swell dropped slightly but plenty of shoulders for the taking and nice and smooth surface. Low tide was around 7:45, and after that it started filling in and getting funkier. Gonna try and hit it again tonight with Gilbo and whoever else I can get to come out.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Session 49 - 'Another day in paradise'

Dawn patrol at OB, swell still hanging around, sets in the shoulder high range, smooth, sunny and fun. A few other guys out at Kirkham, and I drifted down to Lawton where there was one other guy on the peak. Caught a lot of fun ones, and after an hour got out to head to work. Passed another surfer walking down the beach, and he says 'another day in paradise...' Although OB is rarely referred to as paradise, I couldn't agree more this morning, I would've stayed out all day if I could.

Session 47 & 48 - dolphin playtime

Yesterday I snuck in an AM & PM session, because the weather was nice and waves were fun. In my AM session there were at least 3 dolphins swimming around, getting pretty close to me. At one point all 3 of them simultaneously breached through a nice set wave directly in front of me. I blame the dolphins for making me miss at least 3 really nice waves. Even snagged a pic of one, thanks to the hero cam. The waves were fun and fast, changing a lot with the tide. I'm hoping these conditions stick around all week.

Session 46

OB dusk, head high, caught a few nice reeling lefts...

Session 45 - sshhhhhh

In search of a protected break that wasn't as blown out as everywhere else, I drove down to the secret spot with my cousin Ryan. The waves were mostly closeouts, jacking up about shoulder high and then crashing down in foot deep water. There were a few guys out and a handful of groms, so it was pretty crowded considering the small takeoff zone. One of the older guys wiped out pretty bad and landed on his head, straining his neck. Everyone got out of the water and made sure he was OK. After that 3 of the groms paddled back out, and I went out too. After about half an hour everyone else cleared out and I had the entire beach to myself. Surfed until sunset and then drove into Pescadero for a gas station Taqueria burrito...